Those who, for varying personal reasons, have chosen not to get vaccinated against Covid are facing increased, targeted restrictions around the world. The introduction of lockdowns against the unvaccinated only in Austria and, in the coming weeks, in Germany is perhaps the most extreme example of separation yet.
The incoming Social Democrat (SDP) government today warned that those 14million Germans who have not been vaccinated will be prevented, likely with the threat of fines, from using public transport and from going to work.
Meanwhile, millions of other citizens will be permitted by the state to live their lives as normal (save from working and travelling alongside their unvaccinated friends and relatives).
The SDP and its coalition partners will present these plans to parliament for approval on Thursday.
They have been labelled a form of “lockdown apartheid”.
Dirk Wiese, the Deputy Head of the SPD parliamentary group, was very willing to admit that “this is actually a lockdown for the unvaccinated”.
Daily Sceptic Editor Toby Young told Express.co.uk: “Given its history, I hoped Germany would be a bit more inhibited about curtailing the rights of a part of its population on the grounds that they’re dangerous and unclean. But apparently not.
He added: “The really worrying thing is that it could happen here.”
In the UK, thousands of care home workers have been sacked because they failed to comply with a new Covid vaccine mandate.
The Government recently expanded its mandate to cover all frontline NHS staff – last year lauded for their efforts to curtail the impact of the virus.
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Its announcement of a lockdown for the unvaccinated came after the introduction of a similar lockdown in Austria on Wednesday.
Around 2million Austrians – including children aged 12 and over – who have not received two Covid vaccines will not only be able to leave their homes for limited reasons.
Those caught breaking the rules face fines of up to 1,450 euros (£1,237).
Speaking about the new lockdown, Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said: “We are not taking this step lightly, but unfortunately it is necessary.”
About 65 percent of the country’s population is fully vaccinated.
Beate Kampmann, Director of the Vaccine Centre at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, this week told the Telegraph that the crackdown on those who have not been vaccinated against Covid “will lead to increasing polarisation”.
She said: “The decisions that we’re taking around Covid vaccines could influence vaccine confidence on a broader level.
“We already know that a lot of vaccine confidence is related to how people feel empowered in their decision making. If you take these sorts of personal rights away, this will backfire”.